Get In My Belly: Baked Potato Topped with White Beans and Kale

Winter greens, especially kale, appear to be one of the majorly desired ingredients of the moment. Unlike that other ubiquitous recent-recipe staple, quinoa, winter greens are a food I legitimately love, rather than feel like I should. To combine it with one of my other favorite foods, white beans? Now that’s a love meant to last.

Baked Potato topped with White Beans and Kale
Once again, my food photography skills are nothing spectacular.

Recently, I came across a recipe on The Kitchn for stuffed sweet potatoes using beans and greens, and I knew I wanted to try it. However, my son and I are the only ones in the house who are fans of sweet potatoes not in fries-form, so I knew I’d have to substitute regular baking potatoes. While, yes, one does lose some Vitamin A and various other nutrients that a sweet potato gains over its Idaho cousin, it’s still very tasty.


  • 5 large baking potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ cups (or 1 can) cooked and drained white beans (I like both cannelini or navy beans)
  • 6 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons (more or less the size of one bunch sold at the grocery store)
  • Juice of ¼ lemon (or 1 ½ tsp.)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°.

Scrub the potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Mine took 1 hour and 15 minutes, but they were very large potatoes.)

Start the beans and kale about 15 to 20 minutes before the potatoes are done.

In a wide, deep saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and the bay leaf, and cook until the shallots are softened (roughly 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about a minute. You don’t want the garlic to burn, so it’s a good idea to keep it moving before you add the other ingredients.

Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes or until the kale is wilted and soft. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. (I used around ¼ tsp. of sea salt.)

To serve, slice each potato lengthwise and break up both halves a little bit with a fork. You can add a bit of butter/margarine/etc. to melt into the crevices, if you want. Spoon the beans and kale over the top.

Top with parmesan or sour cream, if desired. Depending on the size of your potato, I found this to be a rather filling dinner. Do give it a try.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

9 replies on “Get In My Belly: Baked Potato Topped with White Beans and Kale”

Leave a Reply